New Zealand Woman’s Weekly
Meghan’s SHOCK PAST
Is Harry heading for trouble?
Unable to hide his joy at finally finding “the one”, Prince Harry is a very happy man thanks to Meghan Markle – and it’s not just the groom-to-be who is thrilled that she’s a part of his life.
Their forthcoming marriage has been given the seal of approval by other royals, including the “delighted” Queen, as well as his big brother Prince William (35) and his wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge (36). The royal couple say it has been “wonderful getting to know Meghan and to see how happy she and Harry are together”.
But now, perhaps inevitably, there has been a backlash against Meghan, with a new book describing her as a social climber and calculating when it comes to relationships.
The biography – Meghan: A Hollywood Princess – is by Andrew Morton, the journalist who wrote Diana: Her True Story, the groundbreaking story of Harry’s mum, Princess Diana.
Andrew has talked to lots of her friends and family members, and while most have been very positive about her, there have been some less-than-favourable claims made about the way she has used people to get ahead, especially in her career, and the ruthless manner in which she ditched her ex-husband Trevor Engleson.
In the book, Andrew says film producer Trevor went from cherishing Meghan (36) to, as a friend put it, “feeling like he was a piece of something stuck to the bottom of her shoe”.
Trevor had helped her to land an early role as she was starting out as an actress and Meghan was grateful, but the couple grew apart after Meghan was cast as Rachel Zane on the hit TV series Suits and moved from Los Angeles to Toronto to film the show.
“Although Trevor would constantly visit, he felt like an outsider, his presence an irritating distraction,” says a friend.
Her husband was not the only one who noticed that Meghan appeared frosty to people who’d been a part of her life before she found success on Suits.
Former friend Adam Goldworm agrees, saying,
“The divorce was her decision, totally out of the blue,” adding that he hasn’t seen Meghan since the split – a claim that has been made repeatedly from other former pals.
“She’s like a ghost,” he claims. “I will just say that I think it’s strange, for anyone who’s ever met her, that she’s moving into the royal family.
Andrew writes, “A networker to her fingertips, she seemed to be carefully recalibrating her life, forging new friendships with those who could burnish and develop her career. Whether she wanted to admit it to herself or not, Meghan, who once said she couldn’t imagine life without Trevor by her side, was now building a new world for herself.
“A wealthy entrepreneur friend claimed the marriage ended so abruptly that Meghan sent her diamond wedding and engagement rings back by registered mail.”
The break-up was a complete bolt out of the blue. Everyone in their circle was genuinely shocked, none more so than Trevor’s parents David and Leslie, who had embraced Meghan like a daughter, according to a member of the Markle clan.
The end of her marriage also led to a rift with Meghan’s best friend, jewellery designer
Ninaki Priddy, who in previous interviews has spoken of her former friendship with the soon-to-be royal.
“There’s Meghan before fame and Meghan after fame,” she reveals. “All I can say now is that I think Meghan was calculated, very calculated, in the way she handled people and relationships. She is very strategic in the way she cultivates circles of friends. Once she decides you’re not part of her life, she can be very cold.”
However, an actress friend, Abby Wathen, says what other people may see as Meghan being hard is actually a sign of her strength. “We both went through divorces...
I was destroyed, but she was empowered. She took her power back. It wasn’t the right relationship for her, so she moved on.”
And if she hadn’t moved on, things would be very different today.
The book also touches on what one of Meghan’s friends describes as her obsession with Harry’s mother Princess Diana. In the interview she gave, alongside Harry (33), on the day their engagement was announced, Meghan said she hadn’t known much about the royal family when she was younger “because
I’m from the States”.
“While I now understand very clearly there is a global interest there, I didn’t know much about him.”
But Andrew insists, “She was intrigued by Diana, not just for her style, but for her independent humanitarian mission, seeing her as a role model.”
‘ She is very strategic in the way she cultivates circles of friends. Once she decides you’re not part of her life, she can be very cold’
Adds her school friend Ninaki, “She wanted to be Princess Diana 2.0. She was always fascinated by the royal family.
“I think it’s a very fanciful dream to believe that you just walk into a Prince Charming.
The royal family was something she found fascinating.”
Ninaki continues, “I wasn’t shocked or even surprised to hear about Prince Harry – she used to love The Princess Diaries, films about a commoner who becomes a part of a royal family. She was very taken with that idea.”
To that end, Meghan decided she wanted to do charity work and stood up for the causes she believed in. These included a successful campaign to ban a sexist ad for dishwashing liquid and helping at a homeless shelter.
When the princess was killed in a car crash in Paris in 1997, 16-year-old Meghan was heartbroken. She spent hours watching videos of Diana’s wedding to Prince Charles, who is about to become her father-in-law, and even read Andrew’s tell-all Diana book.
Now the author has trained his sights on Meghan herself, and the insights in his new book include the revelation that Meghan is very good at controlling her emotions. We’re told Meghan became skilled at keeping her feelings in check after her parents,
Doria and Thomas, went through a difficult divorce when she was at primary school, and that she had to mediate between them.
“She is very poised,” says a school friend. “It could be hard for her. Sometimes she felt she had to pick sides.”
Meghan is close to both her parents. Her father, who has two children from a previous marriage, Tom Jr and Samantha, was absolutely besotted with Meghan from the moment she was born in 1981.
Late last year, Tom Jr revealed, “When Meggie was born, Dad was a competely changed man. Before then, his work took priority over everything. I remember when she came home from hospital, he had decorated the bathroom with little angels and fairies. Meghan was a little princess long before she met Harry.”
Thomas met Doria when she worked as a trainee make-up artist on the TV soap opera General Hospital, where he was the lighting director. They fell in love quickly, despite a 12-year age gap, but the romance didn’t go down well with Thomas’ daughter Samantha, who told her friends her father’s African-American girlfriend was “the maid”.
When Meghan was born, her light-coloured skin meant people in their mostly white
Los Angeles neighbourhood often thought Doria was her nanny whenever she took her out. It was a petty humiliation her mum could do without, given that her relationship was breaking down because Thomas was working 80 to 90 hours a week and constantly criticised her during the rare times he was home.
When Meghan was two, Doria left Thomas, although they didn’t divorce for another five years.
“Doria is not a doormat,” says a friend. “She spoke up for herself, and protected herself and her daughter fiercely.”
Meghan has inherited much of that fierce determination and used it to get ahead in her acting career after initially struggling to get work. And it’s been suggested that once she met Harry, she very cleverly used that resolve to snare one of the world’s most eligible bachelors.
But Harry seems to disabuse the notion that Meghan worked hard to reel him in.
“The fact that I fell in love with Meghan so incredibly quickly was sort of confirmation to me that all the stars were aligned, everything was just perfect,” he said when their engagement was announced. “It was this beautiful woman just sort of literally tripped and fell into my life, I fell into her life… We’re a fantastic team.”